Add up the cost of the presents, the parties, and pushing the boat out and this is an expensive time of the year.
It is not surprising that one person in four is dipping into their savings to pay for the festivities (according to research from the Moneysupermarket website, cited by Rebecca Choules’ in the Daily Telegraph on 7 November).
Hopefully using long-term savings for short-term gain won’t become common place. If growth in the economy is being led by consumer spending, dipping into the savings pot might disadvantage consumers’ long-term financial security. It might also make the recovery unsustainable.
Pursuing a wealth goal helps to make the future more certain
Savings play an important part in prudent financial planning. Savings have regularly featured in my discussions with coaching clients. They found that pursuing a wealth goal helped to make their future more certain.
Certainty could also be very important if working life keeps getting longer and the distance until State Pension Age (SPA) keeps getting longer.
The Telegraph’s Andrew Oxlade looked at this issue on 5 December, in a piece entitled “State pension age: The logic that suggests it will rise to 84”. There’s a link to the piece at the end of this post.
The article quotes a number of experts who speculate about the impact of current demographic changes and the link to possible increases in the SPA by 2050.
3 wealth-related questions this Christmas
All of this speculation suggests we could ask ourselves 3 wealth-related questions this Christmas, to establish some milestones for our own wealth plans:
- What savings goals will you pursue over the next five years to become more financially secure?
- What level of financial security do you want to have achieved in the coming decade?
- How much actions are you prepared to take to achieve further financial security in the next 20 years?
(What answers do you have to those questions? Why not have that conversation with friends and family over the holiday season, then get some coaching to start making progress in 2014).